The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


People all over the world, start a love train

Valentine’s Day celebrated across the globe in many different cultures
People all over the world, start a love train

Valentine’s Day is drawing near, and you know what that means: candies, chocolates and romantic dinners.

However, this idea of setting aside a specific “day for love” doesn’t merely take place in America.

In fact, countries all over the world celebrate Feb. 14 similarly to the way Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the States.  

Valentine’s Day festivities take place all around the world.

From Poland, to Zimbabwe, to China, showing love for one another is important to all.
“Valentine’s Day is huge! It’s a big business”, said Bheko Dube, a senior from Zimbabwe. “People celebrate it really, really passionately.”

Going out to a nice dinner with your significant other and/or exchanging gifts are common gestures on Valentine’s Day.

Spoiling one’s lover is definitely something that is not reserved for Americans.

“If two people are married, the husband gives the wife flowers, a card, and most likely jewelry,” recent SMU graduate and Poland native David Kuzer said.  “Wealthier people can pay for a singer at dinner.”

Romantic dinners and tableside entertainment may sound like the ultimate Valentine’s experience, but for those who can’t afford something so extravagant, stuffed animals are always a nice touch.

Taken as a small act of kindness here, exchanging stuffed animals can mean much more in other places.

“Back home do you know how much a teddy bear costs?” Dube asked. “The ones you can find at the Dollar Store, back home those would cost you, like, $100!”

Candies are a crucial part of the Valentine’s Day experience.

According to The Nielson Company, nearly 48 million pounds of chocolate candy are sold during Valentine’s week!

Giving candies to our valentines, although it doesn’t promote the healthiest of eating habits, does sweeten the evening a bit more (no pun intended).

Treats like lollipop hearts and boxes of Sweethearts are common among the store shelves during the month of February, but nothing says “I love you” like chocolate.

“We have these chocolates called baci- it means ‘kisses,'” Italian professor Damiano Bonuomo said. “It looks like a round chocolate with hazelnut inside, and each are wrapped in silver paper…with proverbs or sayings…that have to do with love.”

Modern Valentine’s Day is said to have derived from the ancient Roman holiday known as the Festival of Lupercalia, a celebration in honor of fertility observed on Feb. 15.

Once the rise of Christianity began to take place, many of the pagan holidays were adapted to fit Christian beliefs.  In A.D. 467, the pope turned the former Festival of Lupercalia into the feast day of St. Valentine and moved it to Feb.14. Although the exact origin of Valentine’s Day remains unknown, other countries have stories that explain the reasoning behind their interest in the holiday.

“[In China] we have Valentine’s Day Aug. 19,” freshman Haoyi Yu said.

A legend surrounds the origin of the Chinese Valentine’s day, or Qing Ren Jie, which involves a farmer named Niu Lang and a goddess named Zhi Nu.

Niu Lang owned a cow that spoke to him one day about seven beautiful women bathing in a river.

While the women bathed, Niu Lang took the goddess Zhi Nu’s clothes that were lying on the riverbank.

“Niu Lang makes a promise with Zhi Nu”, Yu said. “Marry me and I will give you your clothes again.”

Another goddess in the heavens becomes angry with Zhi Nu because she falls in love with a mortal. The goddess whisks Zhi Nu back to the heavens, away from Niu Lang.

“They use magic to separate them.” Yu says. “Zhi Nu goes to the Star Vega and Niu Lang goes to the Constellation of Aquila.”

The Milky Way separates the two lovers from each other, but “on Aug. 19, we think there is a bridge that connects the two constellations so they get to meet,” Yu says.

This legend brings a whole new meaning to “star-crossed lovers.”

Although  countries all around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day in many different ways, there is one universal aspect: love.  

On this day, different peoples show their appreciation for those that mean the most to them. Love for others is something that never gets lost in translation.

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